Will Work for Food? Kitchen Play Puts Food to Work for You
In a little over a month, my newest project, Kitchen Play, will launch and when it does, it will change the landscape of food blogging forever!
Wait. That sounds a little…grandiose.
What I meant to say is that I hope when the first Progressive Party is revealed at Kitchen Play, it will mark the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship between food bloggers and members of the PR industry. I have several tricks up my sleeve to ensure that it does.
As my previous press releases have indicated, Kitchen Play will present a new sponsored Progressive Party each month. The premise: six bloggers tasked with the challenge of incorporating the same food product or kitchen tool into six wildly different courses. And recently, I announced that after each month’s dramatic reveal, there will be a contest open to other food bloggers who want to try that month’s recipes and post about it for a chance to win a prize.
Beyond the simple lure of winning (Cash! Prizes!), joining the contest will also be a great way to gain visibility within the food blogging world (new subscribers, anyone?) and put your work in front of the PR world (members of which will surely be keeping an eye on the talent pool at Kitchen Play). If you don’t need the exposure, or don’t care to expand the contacts page of your day planner, I urge you to consider entering the monthly contests anyway, to support your fellow bloggers who will have worked so hard to put the recipes together.
While the Progressive Parties will take up a large bit of real estate on the new site, but I’ve carved out space for additional content areas to provide even more opportunities to work with PR folks.
The first is the SideCar series. A play on location, the SideCar series will live in the sidebar and will pair smaller groups of bloggers with sponsors and products to create themed events and recipes. Think Halloween, Baby Shower, Mardi Gras.
The second is the Pampered Pantry, a gift guide for foodies. It will feature high-end, gourmet and hard-to-source products guaranteed to make any gourmand sit up and salivate. No run-of-the-mill directory, the Pampered Pantry includes reviews of the products written by your fellow food bloggers. In this way the Pampered Pantry provides a first-hand account of working with an exotic ingredient or essential kitchen tool, so you can make an informed decision about which to add to your personal wish list.
To round out the site, Kitchen Play will include a professional spotlight featuring PR reps from the food industry. There will also be an interactive forum devoted to helping food bloggers better understand the PR world (What is an “elevator pitch?” How do I improve my Page Rank?)
Finally, a word about working with sponsors.
In a previous post, I declared my mantra to be: Food Blogger Resource. Kitchen Play was borne of my desire to connect food bloggers with PR representatives. So it probably comes as no surprise that I believe there is a place in food blogging for sponsored posts. There is a way to approach sponsored blogging so as to not alienate your audience and to also stay true to your own objectives and voice. Here is a nice write-up on the topic.
Beyond the obvious reward of monetary compensation, working with sponsors to create original recipes using their products can set you up to define yourself beyond your blog. Imagine developing recipes for national brands, agricultural commodities and publishers. You may suddenly find yourself in possession of an impressive portfolio to show to future clients or sponsors. You never know what opportunities await you; why not be prepared for anything?
In closing, I want to applaud any bloggers who willingly place themselves and their work in the limelight. Kitchen Play presents a great opportunity to stretch yourself personally and professionally, but there are many other sites and foodie communities that involve a certain amount of risk to achieve the reward. The Daring Cooks and Bakers, Tuesdays with Dorie, TasteSpotting, Foodie Fights, the list goes on. All of them offer the promise of a larger audience, but with that audience comes more scrutiny, more feedback and, one would hope, more soul-searching. What you do when faced with the growth of your own site will tell you a lot about where your blog is headed.
Bottom line: If you’re ready to tackle the typos, fix your broken links and take a hard look at your “About” page, then you’re ready to work with a sponsor. Because the one thing I’ve learned is: the sponsors are taking a close look at those things, too.
I’d love to answer your questions about Kitchen Play. Feel free to leave your query in the comments, or email me at casey (@) tastestopping.com. Also send me an email if you’d like to be considered for an assignment at Kitchen Play. Thanks!
****Update to add: have a look at Kitchen Play: www.kitchen-play.com